I’ve been hiking for years. Ever since I was younger I would tromp around in the 283.8-acre woods directly across the street from my house. It mostly consisted of running around aimlessly, getting lost, and eventually emerging onto roads miles from home. These early experiences instilled a fascination with nature, which later developed into an obsession. This passion truly began to develop during the summer months of 2009 when my friend Dan and I planned and embarked on a month long hiking expedition around eastern Canada. I now nurture and develop my passion for nature with my pursuit of an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Conservation Biology at the University of Rhode Island, and by rock climbing and hiking in my spare time.
For a while, my passion for hiking was stymied by the seemingly unavoidable fact that I had no close friends or relations who shared my drive. Yes, there were definitely those who opted to accompany me on hikes but would do so sparingly, nowhere near the amount of adventure I was searching for. I met Katie by chance in the beginning of my junior year. At the time we were both currently dating other people but as those relationships began to wind down, I found myself growing closer to her and the support she provided. As our friendship grew, I started seeing more in her than simply a comforting presence, so, to state it in simple terms, I asked her out. That’s how it started, really. We, like any healthy couple, drew parallels between our passions so we could experience them together. I soon convinced Katie to accompany me on a hike of Mount Greylock, the highest peak in my home state of Massachusetts. Although she had little hiking experience, she handled the steep 3491 ft climb like a champ, and even agreed to pee in open daylight when a port-a-potty was nowhere to be found (we eventually found one just down the trail, so she peed there too, but that’s besides the point). I quickly found in her a passion that mirrored my own, and would ultimately lead us to develop a fun, adventurous relationship.